DraftWorldwide Absorbs Lowe Live

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Seven months after combining The Lowe Group's direct, database and Internet marketing arms into Lowe Live, Interpublic Group of Companies Inc. has decided to merge that business in the United States with another company property, DraftWorldwide.

Lowe Live's San Francisco has been renamed DraftWorldwide. It will report to DraftWorldwide's U.S. division in Chicago, which is U.S. agency headquarters. The New York office of Lowe Live will be absorbed by DraftWorldwide New York.

"There's no doubt that we continue to seek efficiencies in our operating companies, so having reviewed the Lowe Live units, it was felt that they would be better served by being part of the DraftWorldwide family," said Jordan H. Rednor, president and chief operating officer of Draftworldwide.

"This complements our continued development of our partnership with [The Lowe Group's advertising agency] Lowe Lintas," New York-based Rednor said.

On another level, the merger is expected to bolster DraftWorldwide's customer relationship management offerings. This, in turn, is intended to attract more multinational CRM business.

"The idea to explore joint opportunities between Lowe Lintas and DraftWorldwide came out of participation in The Partnership," Rednor said.

"It became apparent it made sense for Lowe to partner with us on global pitches where they needed the resources of a global direct marketing and CRM company ... and it made sense for them to leverage our strength with their form of advertising to attract clients," he said.

Established 20 years ago in London, The Lowe Group is a key member of The Partnership, a division created this summer by Interpublic. Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide is the advertising agency flagship of The Lowe Group.

Other members of The Partnership are media specialist Initiative Media, public relations firm Golin/Harris International and DraftWorldwide, a $3.6 billion-billings integrated agency strong in direct marketing.

While no decision has been made, DraftWorldwide may examine absorbing other Lowe Live operations overseas into its network.

The move comes in the wake of Interpublic's summer purchase of rival agency holding conglomerate, True North Communications Inc. The $1.8 billion stock-for-stock transaction was expected to result in major changes within the Interpublic portfolio, with special emphasis on direct marketing.

At the time of its founding, Lowe Live was supposed to kick off with a staff of 400 and billings of more than $450 million. Clients included Merrill Lynch, Heineken, Marriott, HSBC, British Airways, Saab and Orange.


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